In the news...

Smart technologies to ensure sustainable farming

April 19th, 2017 / Ethiopian Herald

“There is something that we are not doing properly, that is why we keep on falling short of feeding the whole Africa,” mutters Dr. Kodjo P. Abassa, trying to get comfy on his chair. Dr. Abassa, former Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has worked for more …

… on B4FA.org

April 17th, 2017

New on B4FA.org:
Blog: A key question is how to harness or influence the microbiome to restore damaged land and improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural practices.
AND
recently launched a new feature explaining genomic …

How nanobiotechnology could transform agriculture at every level

April 13th, 2017 / Huffington Post, India

Considering the advancements in science and technology, nanotechnology is being visualised as a rapidly evolving field that has the potential to revolutionise agriculture and food systems. Nanotechnology, when applied as a tool, in tandem with other measures, can seek to address some of the world’s most critical sustainable development problems …

Future of Agriculture in Africa: breeding orange-fleshed sweetpotato

April 11th, 2017 / International Potato Centre

On March 15, Dr. Robert Mwanga, one of the 2016 co-winners of the World Food Prize (WFP) contributed to a discussion on the Future of African Agriculture at the Planet Earth Institute (PEI) in London. Robert, a sweetpotato breeder at the International Potato Center (CIP) gave a presentation on progress …

New generation of GMO crops could dramatically increase yield

April 4th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Farmers could one day control when their crops ripen after the development of modified rice that flowers on demand.
Despite how advanced our agricultural technology has become, outdoor plants still develop according to the whims of nature — the gentle warmth of early summer sun, the soft patter of spring rains.
Japanese …

The business case for soil

March 17th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Nobody likes dirty business, but the business world must get to grips with dirt. Soil provides food, fibres and fuels, and regulates water resources and climate. Yet most businesses are unaware that their bottom lines depend on soil; nor are they aware of the risks they face from its degradation. …

CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers

March 17th, 2017 / Nature, UK

Resistance to conventional pesticides — among insects, weeds or microbial pathogens — is common on farms worldwide. CropLife International, an industry association based in Brussels, supports efforts that have counted 586 arthropod species, 235 fungi and 252 weeds with resistance to at least one synthetic pesticide (see ‘The rise of …

Unlocking the power of African soil microbes

March 17th, 2017 / Scientific American

Like the developed world, the African continent soil also harbors billions of beneficial soil bacteria that can be utilized to revolutionize African agriculture. And for many smallholder farmers across Africa who have few resources, microbe inoculants can open new opportunities. Such opportunities can range from increase in crop yields to …

Product, not process! Explaining a basic concept in agricultural biotechnologies & food safety

March 6th, 2017 / Life Sciences, Society and Policy

Most life scientists have relentlessly recommended any evaluative approach of agri-food products to be based on examination of the phenotype, i.e. the actual characteristics of the food, feed and fiber varieties: the effects of any new cultivar (or micro-organism, animal) on our health are not dependent on the process(es), the …

Kenya GMO corn trials said to face obstacle over import ban

March 6th, 2017 / Bloomberg Makets

Kenya is withholding approval for field trials of genetically modified corn because some officials argue that a ban on GMO imports applies to controlled growing tests as well, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
Talks involving representatives from the health and environment ministries and the National Biosafety Authority reached …